Most people know this story already. A teen is accused of murder, and the jury must be unanimous in its decision: guilty or not guilty. It seems a slam-dunk decision, until one man votes not guilty, and sets out to convince the rest that there’s a reasonable doubt here.
My first exposure to this story was in middle school, when a teacher had us watch the first part of the movie – right up until the one man votes not guilty – then paused for us to guess which of the men might change their votes, and in what order. My guesses? Completely wrong. I didn’t know enough about human nature then. The experience left a huge impression on me, though, and I was happy when the movie was assigned in my paralegal course a couple years back. I had to study the movie for the way evidence was handled, and so kept a better eye on it than my middle school self. So when I began listening to the full cast audio production of the original play, I pretty much knew everything that was going to happen before it did. That didn’t lessen the story, though.
If you haven’t seen or read Twelve Angry Men, I highly recommend it. It’s a beautifully worked look at both human nature and the legal system, as well as the prejudices that exist so strongly in our country. The play is over 60 years old now, but in today’s political climate, it’s very relevant. For myself, while I enjoyed listening to the play, and the full cast audio is really good, I actually prefer the movie version. Nothing is left out, and there’s a lot to be gained by seeing rather than hearing some of the movement. However, both are excellent, so I highly recommend this audio for those who haven’t seen the movie yet, or for those interested in the origins of the movie.